(CNN) California will end all business with Walgreens, the retail drugstore chain, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday, days after the company announced it would no longer provide the abortion drug in 21 Republican-led states.
“California will not do business with @Walgreens – or any company that fears extremists and puts women’s lives at risk,” the Democratic governor tweeted. “We’re done.”
Newsom’s push comes at a fraught time for the future of drug abortions, as a Texas judge issued a ban on Mifepristone, the first pill in the two-drug abortion market. Walgreens responded to legal pressure in 21 states — including a few where abortion remains legal — by deciding to partially halt its efforts to sell the drug.
“We intend to be a certified pharmacy and only distribute Mifepristone in jurisdictions where it is legal and practical,” the company said in a statement last week.
Walgreens declined to comment on Newsom’s Twitter account.
The battle between Newsom and Walgreens marks the latest round of fallout for the giant chain, which has thousands of stores around the country, following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The decision last June shook up national politics ahead of the 2022 midterms — helping many Democrats back their candidates in tough, swinging state and seat races and shaking up ties between political and business leaders. .
Newsom spokesman Brandon Richards said the state is currently “reviewing all communications between Walgreens and the state. They accused the organization of pandering to “right-wing bullies.”
Newsom’s office announced Wednesday that California will renew its $54 million contract with Walgreens, effective May 1, 2023.
The California Department of General Services has a contract with the retailer to “purchase specialty pharmacy prescriptions,” mostly for use by the state’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the correctional health care system, Newsom’s office said in a news release.
The state will “explore other options to provide similar services,” he said.
In a statement Wednesday, Walgreens Senior Director of External Relations Fraser Engerman said the company was deeply disappointed by the announcement and that the decision not to renew was based on “false and misleading information.”
Late last week, Democratic California State Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a statement blaming Walgreens for political pressure from GOP officials.
“Medication abortion is a lifeline for people in need of safe, effective and critical care,” Bonta said Friday.
The company sought to clarify its position on Wednesday, though its latest statement added to the confusion.
“Our position has always been that, once certified by the FDA, Walgreens plans to release Mifepristone in any jurisdiction where it is legally permitted to do so,” Ingerman said. Medication abortion is legal and accessible in states like Kansas and Iowa, among others, despite opposition from top Republicans who have threatened legal action.
In a letter to Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach from last month, Walgreens said it “does not intend to distribute mifepristone in your state and does not intend to ship mifepristone into your state from any pharmacies.” “
Abortion is protected under Kansas state law. Last summer, the state voted overwhelmingly to block lawmakers from proceeding with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade less than two months later.
Pharmacies certified to dispense Mifepristone by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in early January can only do so to someone with a prescription from a doctor.
This story has been updated with additional information.
CNN’s Taylor Romine and Jack Forrest contributed to this report.